In the world of powerhouse vocalists, we like to use the word “pipes” to describe those with the biggest, booming throats. And Martha Wash is Queen of the Pipes. Just in time for the 30th anniversary of “It’s Raining Men” comes her latest effort, and it’s an elegant charmer. And that’s quite a difference—for this disc, Martha is not offering roof-raising club anthems but rather showcasing her voice within captivating, mid-tempo creations. From the opening lines of the collection’s title song, Wash reveals her dreams to forge a new, unexpected sound. She sings, “I’m feeling something. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt something was burning inside. You’ve got me thinking I’ve been missing out.” Those kind of ultra-personal lyrics abound here, especially on sweeping ballads like the piano-driven “Destiny” and the hushed, self-empowering beauty of “Proud,” which is a standout. And a must-hear is her smoldering version of Aerosmith’s classic “Dream On,” which always sounds even more stunning with a stirring string section—yet it still rocks, too. Wash might not need to declare “Gonna make you sweat!” like she did with C&C Music Factory back in 1991. Rather, it is the quiet endowment of her voice that will effortlessly keep you swooning. —Paul V.
Originally posted at: http://www.frontiersla.com